Lead Week, 21 #Pbweekmia

Photo: Policy exchange via wikimedia commons
Photo: Policy exchange via wikimedia commons

This is Lead Week on this blog.

It’s pretty awful that Defra has not come to any decision on lead ammunition which is a source of poison in our foods and our environment, but it is scandalous that it has not made the report of the Lead Ammunition Group public after receiving it almost eight months ago.

The findings of the report are clear but the evidence on which it is based, and the full report, have not been made public.

The members of the Lead Ammunition Group should by now be considering publishing their full report elsewhere in order that it is in the public domain.  I’d be happy to have it here for example.

The debate on lead ammunition is underway and has been for years. It is unacceptable that government takes so long to decide its position but it is scandalous that it fails to  publish a report that was produced by a group of experts, working for five years (unpaid) to give government and the people the evidence.

Defra appears to be in the pockets of the shooting industry. We have only to look back to the recent publication of the government Hen Harrier plan, which was not a plan for Hen Harriers but was a plan that pleased the shooting industry (the main enemy of the protected Hen Harrier), to see that Defra is incredibly nervous of upsetting shooters.

It is right that Defra thinks hard about what it will do to address the environmental and health aspects of lead ammunition – but it is time that they tell us when their thinking will stop and action will begin.

However, it is long past time for Defra to publish the report of the Lead Ammunition Group. Every moment further delay is unacceptable and suspicious. What exactly are we waiting for? Liz Truss should be ashamed of keeping the public in the dark about the impacts of lead ammunition on human health and environmental health. Why does she not come clean and publish the evidence?



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12 Replies to “Lead Week, 21 #Pbweekmia”

  1. How about a blog on tree planting to help solve flooding next week Mark? - you could sandwich in between the lead blogs and then next 200 blog series on grouse.

    This was quite interesting + there seems to be lots of political interest even from the tories. This was quite interesting: https://www.politicshome.com/energy-and-environment/articles/opinion/confor/calls-200m-new-trees-protect-uk-against-floods

    are there any downsides to tee planting such as spreading diseases - would natural regeneration be better or worse?

  2. Thanks Mark, this has been a brilliant series of blogs on lead ammunition. Rather depressingly, I have seen little promotion of these from NGOs on either Twitter or Facebook - maybe I missed it?
    Should be interesting to see what the response is from the supermarkets, or maybe they will continue to bury their heads in the sand. And who knows maybe this will prompt Defra to publish the LAG report - but I guess they are still busy preparing a response to the e-petition to ban toxic lead ammunition, it's been 17 days now.

  3. Ps there is a petition here which I am considering signing - what do you think of it?


  4. Why don't you leave it to the individual to choose wether they choose to eat game or not, fair enough raise awareness about lead levels but for God sake let people eat what they like. Is this just a behind the scenes way to get at grouse shooting? Jesus Christ let people do and decide what they want to do and eat. Just because you don't agree let them get on with it! Maybe lots of people would rather see good old fashioned wild life rather than just bloody raptors!

    1. Angus - thank you for your comment. Rather gave it away at the end didn't you?

      Do you mean, let the vested interest of the shooting industry continue to promote game meat as a healthy option without mentioning that it is so full of a poison that it could not be legally sold if it were another meat? Is that letting people choose for themselves?

      And you'll have to explain how switching to a non-toxic ammunition would affect raptor numbers.

      1. "And you'll have to explain how switching to a non-toxic ammunition would affect raptor numbers."

        I guess it might depend if the non toxic ammo was less accurate?

      2. As an aside; there is very good evidence from the States mainly that lead ammunition harms raptors. They eat carcasses that are left to rot and because of the cumulative nature of lead in vivo, they end up with quite a lot of it.

    2. I'm sure the smoking industry tried peddling the same AM.

      So if farmed meat has to comply with legal levels of 'additives' why wouldn't any other sold as good for you?

      'Bloody raptors' - yes, let's have 'moor' please. 'Silver ghost' over moors on a day out, magic, absolutely magic - more 'people' should be allowed to see them not just an elite few?

      I'd also appreciate a scientific definition of 'good old fashioned wildlife' please, clearly my education is lacking?

    3. Good idea Angus, while we're at it do you think we should re-introduce lead into paint so it can be consumed by children chewing toys again? Do you think we should also re-introduce lead in petrol so that we can all spew it out of our car exhausts so that we can once again breathe lead in and also have it enter the food chain that way when it settled on vegetables? While we're at it, let's re-introduce lead shot to Angling so we can clear out more wildlife. Sod it, let's go the whole hog and repeal all of our laws so that we can do anything we want regardless of the harm it does to anybody or anything.

      Angus, the irony of this week is that Mark Avery has done more for the shooters than the Countryside Alliance, the Game and Wildlife Conservation (spit) Trust or any of the other shooters campaign groups but you're all too blind to see it.

  5. Mark: Have written to my MP asking for the LAG report to be published in full ASAP.

    I would urge others to do the same. It's easy to look up any MP's email address.......

  6. That or a photo opportunity Ministers and friends tucking into glorious pellet free but full of toxic lead residue grouse to accompany publication of LAW&HH Report?

    Where would they hold it? Which estate would host such an event for them I wonder? A celebrity chef or YFTB front man to bowl them over with the blarney as they are served up? Speech by CA (you know, represent all rural areas, NOT) or the Grouse Promotion Trust with the Hawk-less Trust offering to undertake a scientific review of the poison levels in each attendees burger? Obviously convened by trust-less Truss in between other 'flying flood pr' photo opportunities?

    Suspect, but no evidence that grouse / game sales by supermarkets is insufficient for them to risk the bad pr, perhaps the issue might be who holds shares in them that might seek to promote sales of potentially poisonous meat?

  7. Good old Angus. What a brilliant shot in the foot, and you've just wound up many more nature-lovers to get something done about irresponsible shooting and selling of game. Ps, lead shot on the groundis still killing or sickening thousands of wildfowl.


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